Getting Real About Social Media at Internet Librarian International 2010

The last couple of years I have been living vicariously through Twitter, doing my best to follow the discussions at the Internet Librarian International (ILI) conference that takes place in the UK each October. When people who are attending start emailing me things they have learned (as happened this year), I really know I am missing something!

Some highlights from ILI2010

Dr. Hazel Hall, Director of the Centre for Social Informatics at Edinburgh Napier University, spoke about “relevance of social tools for information professionals” in her talk Getting Real About Social Media. Owen Stephens has a nice blog write-up and a link to the Dr. Hall’s PowerPoint slides (they are also available from her Publications page). Stephens explains her key thesis:

Social media are aggregators of people (not data or information alone) – their lives and experiences – and this is true for librarians and information professionals of course as well as everyone else. Hazel says that librarians and information professionals are good at organising and communicating information – and so natural for us to use social media as an extension to the ways we have done this traditionally. However, we may not be so good at engaging with library stakeholder communities in a participatory, collaborative fashion – and understanding how we can use social media to help with this.

I like this point. How do we find out who is in our community (or the community our library serves)? How do we connect to them? How do we reach out to those in our community, especially if they are geographically distant from us? How can we participate and collaborate with these people, not just feed them information? Social networking tools can help facilitate this, but how?

The other highlight is a presentation by library/social media consultant Phil Bradley. Phil’s slides pretty much speak for themselves: he has brought together an unimaginable number of new “Web 2.0” tools. Some I have heard of (and even blogged about here) but many of these are new to me. Lots to explore here, and it’s difficult to know where to start. Phil tells me he put this together by pulling together all the new tools he has explored in his blog I want to. So, I have lots of reading and exploring ahead of me! I hope you find some great new ideas here, too–

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